The Golden Rule of Entrepreneurship, according to Whole Foods Market Chairman Dr. John Elstrott / Times Picayune

Whole Foods Market Chairman Dr. John Elstrott has learned a thing or two in his 40 years of entrepreneurship, all of which helped him and his team to build and reshape Whole Foods over the years.

At the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, Elstrott fired up the business community about entrepreneurship sharing his road to the top, but most importantly, how aspiring entrepreneurs can be successful.

“Building businesses is key to our economy,” Elstrott said, just before laying out everything he’s learned in 40 years of entrepreneurship. He says successful entrepreneurship can be boiled down into a few basic concepts that he considers make up the “Golden Rule of Entrepreneurship.”

In addition to serving as the chairman of the board of Whole Foods Market since 2009, Elstrott is past chair of the audit committee for Whole Foods Market, Inc., a Fortune 300 and S&P 500 company.  He’s been a director of the company since 1995.

Elstrott is also the emeritus executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business in New Orleans.  In addition, he was recently awarded the 2013 Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur and Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Elstrott sits on multiple boards for companies. Since 2011, he’s served as a director with Stewart Enterprises funeral and cemetery services, and since 2004, he’s been a director at Sambazon, a maker of organic juices, smoothies and sorbets with ingredients harvested from the Amazon.

In 1980, Elstrott began serving as a director at Traditional Medicinals, Inc., herbal teas, and before that, CFO of Celestial Seasonings teas.

Locally, Elstrott is co-founder of Elstrott, Maurer & Hunnewell, a boutique strategy consulting firm based in New Orleans providing services to firms through periods of change, helping them adapt to rapid growth, enter new markets and address challenges of reorganizations, mergers or leadership transitions.

Elstrott holds bachelor and master’s degrees in economics from LSU and a doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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